By now, readers of my blog have probably guessed that there is a LOT of Edward Gorey material floating about my home. Even though his work is primarily small in size, it does take up space.
I've spent a more than half of my life sur- rounded by Gorey's images in some form or another, but a couple years ago Bill and I took that to a new level. We had repainted our dining room a rather uncompromising shade of mustard yellow - something he was a little unsure of then, and is still uncertain about (I like it). To give it some additional interest, we decided to illustrate the walls.
This was accomplished by projecting images of book illustrations on the wall, tracing and then hand painting them in place. It was a lot of fun choosing drawings by various artists we collect, and we generally used less recognizable characters by these artists. The work of painting the images fell completely to Bill, and he would work far into the night to finish an image.
Included in the melange of characters are a couple of Gorey drawings since he's an obvious favorite. As images were added over time, we added a few classics like Piglet and Pinocchio. There are also images by John R. Neill, Mary GrandPre, H. J. Ford, H. R. Millar, and Palmer Cox - a bit of a grab-bag of illustrators. There are still a few holes that could be filled; we'll see.
If you think our dining room is fun (or even over the top), I invite you to see a portion of a parlor room in a friend's home. My friend and his wife love Gorey's work and took it to an extreme that I truly admire. The entire ceiling of the parlor is hand drawn to resemble a Gorey drawing. There are broken floorboards overhead which reveal a night sky complete with circling bats, arches with urns and winged skulls, and even the Doubtful Guest sitting in a corner. The artwork extends two feet down the walls and is really quite breathtaking in person. The ceiling's images were mapped out on paper and completely drawn by hand over a long, hot summer. This was a labor of love and is a wonderful room to sit in or pass through.